So My Smart Phone Died

Well, maybe died is too strong a term.  Everything was crashing on it when I turned it on.  I tried resetting to factory settings, wiping the cache, and everything I tried just made things worse.  Whether it was some kind of malware or virus, or some kind of glitch my smartphone was little more than a paper weight.

My options were few: get a new phone or try and fix it myself.  I had heard that you could install custom ROMs on your android phones (I think the term rooting is no longer used, but I am still new to this so am not quite sure), but until now I had no reason to look into it too much.  A friend of mine convinced me to try because what did I really have to lose?  I could receive calls, but that was about it, nothing else worked.  He pointed me to the XDA developers who have a lot of experience and knowledge with installing custom ROMs (basically installing another version of android onto your phone) for various smart phones.

Generally speaking, if your smart phone is working and you have no issues with it then there’s no need to install any other versions of android.  Doing so probably could void your warranty, so do your research first and find out what you would be getting yourself into before you do anything.  The more research you do ahead of time will mean less surprises and headaches should you actually decide to do it.  I’m more of a “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” kind of person, at least I was with my smartphone.  Computers are another matter entirely.  Another important thing is backing up your data, which you should do anyway even if you keep your phone the way it is.  You never know when your phone or computer may crash unexpectedly.

My first foray into making my smartphone useful again was installing a stable version of android 4.4.4 that I had found on XDA’s website.  In reading through the forum there and seeing how the experiences were for others I took the plunge.  However the first thing I had to do was unlock the boot loader of my phone.  Not all phone makers will allow this so you will need to do some research to see if it is something that you can do.  Fortunately for me with the HTC desire 610 phone I have the maker (HTC) does allow the boot loader to be unlocked, but they do warn you that it may void your warranty and to proceed with caution.

The process itself was simple enough, but with everything on my phone crashing it turned out being a challenge just to unlock the boot loader as my phone would freeze and crash during the process, but I did manage to do it.  I always backup the important information on my phone so I didn’t lose any important information.

My phone is now running 4.4.4 stable.  I flirted with a beta version of android 5, but my phone is still acting “quirky” which I guess means that the hardware is starting to go bad.  When I restart my phone it takes an additional 8 or 9 restarts just to get the wifi working again. Also the rear camera stopped working, not that I used it a lot anyway.   I could get a new phone, but I’m learning so much about the phone I have.

 

Configuring PCLOS Chat in Thunderbird Chat

For those users of pclinuxos Chat that are interested I successfully set up pclos chat with Thunderbird chat. Pidgin is nice too, but it’s always nice to have options.  I’ve also included the steps to join a chat room and included a list of rooms that come up in pidgin when searching for a room.  I’ve set it up on Thunderbird on two of my machines so am fairly confident that the steps should be correct.  If anyone notices and errors or anything that should be changed/added just let me know.

To get an account set up go here: http://pclostalk.pclosusers.com/ and create an account.

Here are the steps that I took to get it all set up:

Steps to add pclos chat to thunderbird

Open chat tab and go to show accounts or tools menu and show accounts

Click on new account.

Select xmpp and click next.

In the username field type: username@pclosusers.com

click next

enter your password

click next

click on the + sign next to XMPP Options

in the server field type pclosusers.com

click next

click finish

You’ll receive an error about the certificate (in the box that shows you any accounts that you have set up).

Click on add exception – above where it says disconnected It may be hard to see at first.

Click on confirm exception in the lower left and then click on ok.

You should now be connected.

Steps to join a chat room

Click on join chat (top left next to add contact)

click on the drop down box next to account and select the pclos chat account that you just set up (applicable only if you have more than one account set up)

room: enter the name of the room that you want to connect to (see list of rooms below)

Server: conference.pclosusers.com

password: enter your password
click on the box to auto join the room and then click ok.

You should now be connected the chat room when ever you open the chat window in Thunderbird.

Room list

trinity
pclinuxos-talk
anything-goes
zoo-2
the_shamrock_pub
pclosmag
powder_room

Daredevil

Only a few days left until the Flash returns.  I’m looking forward to seeing how Barry deals with Dr. Wells and the effects time travel will have on his life.

I also started the new series on Netflix – Daredevil.  So far that looks like it’s going to be a good series.  I like the way that they are gradually bringing daredevil into it.  Right now Matt’s just a guy in a mask. It’ll be nice watching him evolve into “Daredevil” as the series progresses.  The acting in it is good as is the writing and it has me looking forward to the next episode.

Mate 1.10 was just released not too long ago and I have to say it’s pretty nice.

LXDM

When I log onto my computer I usually use a run level 3 – which brings me to a command line prompt login after which I just type startx to get to me desktop.  It kind of brings me back to the days where we would type win at the DOS prompt to get to windows.

Yesterday I installed lxdm for a graphical login and I have to say that I like it. It’s easy to configure and set up.  One of the things I like about it is that I can use the picture of my choice to be the background of it.  It also remembers my username which is good.  I haven’t had as much luck with configuring gdm, but I’m happy with lxdm and will be using that for now.

 

The Flash

This week Barry learns an important lesson about what can happen when he messes around with time.  Changing thing can have unexpected consequences.

People he cares about are saved from death, but still end up getting hurt.  Other people end up getting killed instead.

On a positive note Cisco ends up making amends with his brother, which he wan’t able to do last week when he was killed.

By then end of the episode Barry is a lot wiser than he was last week at the same point in the alternate time line and I think that he’ll be stronger for it in the future.

So far it’s been a good season and I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends as well as how next season turns out.

Books!

I’m going to start writing reviews of the books that I read.  I’m hoping that eventually my writing will improve and start to make more sense.  Eventually I’ll probably try to stick with the weekly posts.  That way they’ll be longer and I’ll have the time to edit them better and can work on better content.

Right now I’m reading a book by Igor Ljubuncic: The Betrayed (The Lost Words, Volume 1).  So far I’m only through chapter 1.  I’ll write more about it as I progress through the book.

Monday – One More Day Until The Flash

It’s the start of another week.  One more day until the Flash.  I’ve been enjoying this series, though I’m going to date myself here by saying that I also enjoyed the other series back in the 90’s with John Wesley Shipp.  I was sorry to see that series not get renewed.

I wasn’t surprised to see Dr. Wells end up being Reverse Flash, but I’m interested to find out what the twist is that everyone is talking about.

They’re starting to get into time travel now and it’ll be interesting to see how things will be affected.  Will Barry save his mother and drastically change his future?

What’s in store for him in season two?  I’ll write more on this after seeing this week’s episode.

Alzheimers

Today I’m keeping it simple.  Here’s a poem that I wrote back in 1998-ish.  I wrote it for a college publication in memory of my grandfather whom had died due to alzheimers.  Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Alzheimer’s

I walk along

a beach lit by dawn’s cheerful grin

seagulls fly endlessly around me

as waves caress my legs like a lover

I reach down and grab a handful of sand

and hold it close to my beating heart

the way that I cherish

my most precious and tender memories

I walk along

a beach that grows mile after mile

the seagulls seem to be laughing at me

in their teasing and taunting ways

as they dance and weave about my head

the waves slowly crawl up my body

as my feet sift through vaguely familiar memories

that seem to tickle my mind

as I walk under the slowly setting sun

I walk along

in circles

on a beach whose end I have finally reached

under the man in the moon’s sad smile

the seagulls have silenced their laughing

the beach is now deserted

sand slips through my fingers

as the waves consume me at last

and I forget